Time to resurrect a subject that I haven’t posted about in quite a while and that subject is VHS cover art from the long gone days of VHS rental. A recent addition to my VHS shelf made me a pretty happy collector. The Super Video release of Amando De Ossorio’s Horror of the Zombies is a very nice example of an era gone by. The cover shows a scantily clad woman being carried to her doom by a group of hooded skeletal faced zombies. In the background you can see that this moment is taking place on a boat. Even though the cover is a little faded, these former rentals saw a lot of sunlight on the shelves of video stores in the 80’s, the colors still pop out at you; a nice marketing ploy by Super Video in my opinion. First the cover grabs your attention with its colors and then the artwork itself is intriguing enough to get you to pick the box up and take a gander. Flip over to the box and what do ya know? It looks like the front cover actually is pretty spot on with the screen pictures on the back! So many times I’ve picked up a box with cool artwork, flip over to the back and see a picture or two from the movie and the pictures had nothing to do with what grabbed my attention on the front! This nice clamshell is spot on with selling you the goods and that is something I can appreciate.
The pictures on the back of the clamshell are pretty cool too. You have the picture of the skeletal zombies backing away from a fire (because that’s what zombies do ya know) and of course a picture of a damsel in distress being pulled to her gruesome fate below the deck of the boat by skeletal hands. Certainly this is more than enough to say yes to a couple of bucks well spent for some Friday night entertainment!
The bad thing is that the movie itself has a bit of a hard time living up to some expectations. Hooded skeletal zombies attacking the living sounds great but the execution is a bit off. Horror of the Zombies is the third entry in Spanish director Ossorio’s quartet of Blind Dead films and it’s probably one of the more disappointing ones. There isn’t a whole lot of action but there is plenty of atmosphere and ridiculous dubbing to keep you interested until all hell finally breaks loose in the final half hour. There is also a beautiful shot of a toy boat in a bathtub surrounded by fog…..well probably cigar smoke. Still I have to give props when they are due and that would actually go to Super Video for their A+ execution not only in the packaging but the fact that they released the uncut (Yes there is a small smidgen of bloodiness) English language print of this goofy zombie flick.